Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Genius Is Pain

On December 1st, 1970, John and Yoko flew back to America, landing in New York where they would produce a pair of films, "Up Your Legs Forever" and "Fly". More notably, John promoted his new album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, with a marathon interview for Rolling Stone magazine on December 8th.

The interview, conducted by Jann Wenner at ABKCO/Apple's Broadway offices, and given the cover story on the next two issues, was John's first since the Beatles' split, and more importantly his first since undergoing Primal Therapy and spilling out his version of the truth in the lyrics of his new songs. The soul-baring (and self-serving) conversation was soon compiled in a book, Lennon Remembers, but even that was censored to a degree and presented in jumbled form.

Here are the raw tapes of the complete four-hour-plus interview, divided into thirteen segments:

For those who want a more concise summary of the event, try this link.


  1. Did John do an interview with Dutch Radio Veronica in December 1970? I've seen a reference to it somewhere, but don't remember where.

    1. If he did, I've never run across a copy. Anyone?

  2. Excellent to hear these in raw form to get to the real John Lennon. Fascinating and funny.

    Thanks for digging up these memories, in an adult form. Now that I'm an adult it makes grown up sense, compared to then as a fan when the censored stuff was quite enough!

  3. I'm commenting here because I'm right now listening to these "Lennon Remembers" interviews. Wow. It is SO different HEARING it, with the vocal inflections, and the laughs...or the annoyance!....I almost feel bad for John because this interview is almost like scripture! And he obviously is being ambushed with the Spanish Inquisition! And some of the lines that I always thought were so bitter and definitive are often throwaway jokes or lines, said with a laugh, merely reacting to a question.

    And it's so funny hearing him yell at Wenner to take the picture himself, not wait for "Annie" (Leibowitz!!!). Or go into the Plastic Ono-Capitol debacle, all the stuff that wasn't published.

    Thanks for all this stuff, man!!